Archive for March, 2007

The way I live now

March 31, 2007

The thumping silence echoing back from my posts on globalization, global warming, and democracy in  America makes it very hard to continue on with this. This brings on a certain tristesse. My daughter says I’m far too pessimistic. I say she’s looking at far too small a picture. But it time to change horses, at least for the moment.

 Here are a couple more pictures from our place that I thought you might enjoy. As always, click on the thumbnail to see the real thing.

This is a picture of Big Creek, my favorite spot on the place. It’s about halfway from our house to our gate.

big-creek.jpg

On the lower left you’ll see the lovely stone bench mother nature brought me a couple of years ago, dropping the seat and the back rest into the middle of the creek. The moss that now covers them just makes them more comfortable to sit on and write.

When I went off to write on Tuesday, this sign greeted me at Big Creek:

sign.jpg

Now, no one in this household is given to stealing highway signs, but occasionally they fall from assorted trucks and are left in the middle of the road. There’s no good alternative except to pick it up and get it out of the way. I thought the guys found a good use for this one.

Of course, you need to know that just above the creek in the previous picture is a whole swath of truly gorgeous trilliums cascading down the rock wall. I tried to take a picture of them, but I screwed it up. Another time, I guess.

Part 3: Globalization, global warming, Toqueville, and democracy as we know it

March 29, 2007

I’m changing the header a little here for those of you who don’t seem to have realized these are different posts. I’ve lumped a bunch of stuff together, because in my mind it’s all connected, but it’s way too much for me to expect anyone to read in one sitting. So I’m trying to break it up a little.

Today I want to expand a little on the topic of global warming.

Earlier this week, I received a presentation from a former brother-in-law about global warming. If I’d liked my former husband as much as I like most of his family, we’d probably still be married. But that’s a story for some other time.

It’s a good presentation. It addresses a lot of the facts and a lot of the possible mitigations. But even though Allan is one of the smartest people I ever met,  I think his approach falls short in this regard: It doesn’t put the issue in the larger context.

“What?” I hear you asking. “There’s a larger context than global warming?” A good question to be sure. But the key of the matter here is in the word “global.”

So much has been written on this topic. Some of it is science; some of it is pseudo-science; some of it is just plain fear-mongering. Like so much of our information-overloaded communications today, it becomes very difficult to sort out wheat and chaff. So, here’s what I believe.

Global warming is real. It has happened before and it’s happening now. Some part of it is undoubtedly driven by the things people do. Some part of it may be natural. Our best guesses about the consequences over the long term indicate that the result won’t be pretty. I wouldn’t be buying a house on the Waldport spit or even a condo in Manhattan right now if I were buying it with the idea that many generations of my descendants will be enjoying it in the future.

Based on what we know about the impact of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, human activity contributes to global warming. The things we do in the pursuit of a better life are having a major impact on our planet. Notice that I didn’t say “negative impact,” although in truth I suspect that is the case. But I don’t know enough to assert that. I do know enough to believe that there is a “major” impact.

But these activities are the direct result of our efforts to chase a more sophisticated, full-of-variety-and-new-gadgets lifestyle. They are the result of our wanting to hop a plane, train, or automobile and be somewhere else whenever we want to. They are the result of the endless pursuit of more effective marketing to consumers. They are, in short, what Toqueville called “the American attention to the short-term gain without regard to the long-term consequence.”

Allan’s presentation is addressed to a sophisticated, environmentally aware audience. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s only a very small part of the whole story.

All around the world, “developing” countries are discovering some of the things that we Americans have taken for granted for decades, if not centuries. And they want them, too. I’m not sure I blame them.

It seems to me that every step that any of us can take to reduce our impact on the planet is a good step. But I don’t think this is going to happen as a result of any major campaign or quick fix. If it is to happen at all, it will happen by making each person aware of the costs associated with his decisions. It will happen by promoting what Toqueville called “the right habits of the heart.” And it will require major lifestyle changes.

It can’t be done by activating the already environmentally conscious folks in the U.S. It can’t be done by legislation even. It’s going to take a global effort and a global awakening. It’s going to take a major shift in how we think about the true costs of things.

Science tells us we are already too far down the path of “negative effects” to avert them completely. But there are things we can do to mitigate the damage. Allan’s presentation addresses these fairly well, I think.

But this is like globalization (see previous post): It’s here, it’s happening, and it will have an impact on you and upon all of your descendants unto generations. There is no quick fix. There is no easy answer. I’d consider it a major step forward if we all started asking some pretty tough questions.

Globalization, global warming, Toqueville, and democracy as we know it, part 2

March 28, 2007

I’m going to try to take these topics one at a time now and elaborate on them a bit. Jeff M. taught me with his wonderful “Lord of the Reorg” posts that you can address complex and difficult topics in a blog if you break them into something resembling bite-sized pieces. I’d link his series, but they’re behind a firewall I can no longer access the door to.

I’ll start with globalization, but I have to bring in a bit of Toqueville, too.

One of Toqueville’s conclusions after keenly observing U. S. culture for ten months was that financial well-being was an integral part of the American philosophy. I doubt that anyone would argue with that. We talk repeatedly of “the American dream,” that fantasy of a house for every family, two cars (or sometimes many more) in every garage, Roosevelt’s “chicken in every pot,” and so on.

For more than 200 years this has been a staple of the American way of life. If you asked a parent what he wanted for his children, his reply would likely be, “For them to have an even better life than I do.” And that “better” was most likely measured in financial terms.

For a very long time, this approach has succeeded. But the cost to the planet has been tremendous.

It’s common to hear this self-aggrandizing statement: “The U.S. has never been a colonial country.” Politically, that may be for the most part true. But the particular form of economic colonialism that the U.S. has practiced for most of its history is in some ways far worse than the more traditional colonization practiced by other “developed” countries.

With a small (and getting smaller every year) percentage of the world’s population, citizens of the U.S. manage to consume approximately 25% of the natural resources used in the world each year. This is necessary because of our philosophy of consumerism. Our spending, yours and mine, is what keeps our economy rolling and our economic welfare improving. Sort of.

We could get away with this sort of behavior as long as the rest of the world couldn’t see what we were doing. But with instant global communications a reality, people around the world can see the way we live and the excesses with which we indulge ourselves. Naturally, they all want a piece of the action. And perhaps just as naturally, many of them hate us for what they envy.

Here is sad fact number 1: The planet will not support the lifestyle currently enjoyed in the U.S. for the number of people living on the earth.

Here is sad fact number 2: As long as someone somewhere is willing to do the work for less money per hour to improve his life, American companies will continue off-shoring jobs. They do this not to screw their workers but to keep their products competitive in a consumer economy.

Globalization of the workforce is a reality. The people who will suffer the most from this are the people who have become accustomed to a fairly fat way of life, one supported by debt, by working longer and longer hours to have more and more things and to maintain the payments on that debt. In short, dear American worker, you may be chasing a pot of gold at the end of a truly ephemeral rainbow.

Your unions can’t protect you, your government can’t protect you, and your companies can’t protect you, because if they do, some other company will simply eat them alive.

I can’t tell you how to fix this, because the truth of the matter is that I think there is no fix. Our world is changing, and we had each better be prepared for it. What does that mean?

To me it means learning to understand the difference between wants and needs. It means learning to insist on the things that are important to you. In my case, important things include, among other things, products that can be fixed rather than sent to the landfill, sensible packaging, and a good laugh each day. There are, of course, many others. You can make your own list. It will probably be different from mine.

You’ll probably notice that physical safety wasn’t listed there. I don’t think anyone or any entity can guarantee that. But the more I understand about my environment and my society, the better able I will be to help ensure my own safety and the safety of those I care about.

If my world collapsed tomorrow, I wouldn’t be very happy about it. But I think I am better prepared than most to survive it. I’d encourage you to think about what it might take to help you feel the same way.

And now, this post seems to be going somewhere I’m not prepared to deal with tonight and that you probably don’t need to read about. So I’m going to shut up. But let me just say this: The world is changing. You can’t stop it. I’m not even sure you can do much to mitigate it.

So I would ask that sometime soon, you have this conversation with yourself. See if you can answer these questions:

  • What is REALLY important to me?
  • What does it take to sustain this (these) thing(s)?
  • How can I make this happen?
  • If I can’t make it happen, then what?

Financial wellbeing is not a human right, no matter what we have been raised to believe. My parents and your parents or grandparents understood this. Think about it now.

Have a great day.

Globalization, global warming, Toqueville, and democracy as we know it, part 1

March 27, 2007

Whig and I have been having a somewhat lively discussion over at Cannablog in his “caveman” post. I want to expand it a little bit, and it feels too lengthy for a comment, so I’ll do the expansion here. I know I’m going to run out of time because today is writers’ groups day, but if I don’t get it started, it will never get written. Hence the “part 1.”

A lot of stuff has come my way recently about the current state of chaos in our American world (not to mention, which I probably will anyway, the rest of the world). Globalization, global warming, and the state of politics in the U.S. are major topics.

We (citizens of the U.S. more so than anywhere else, I think) are conditioned to the “quick fix” for everything. Want to buy something? Borrow the money. What? I should save for it? What an old-fashioned idea. Need to lose weight? Take a pill. Got health issues? Medicine will fix them with some new drug. Unhappy with government? Throw the bastards out and replace them.

Sorry, folks, but this approach doesn’t work for things that are systemic. And most of our problems are just that.

I think I mentioned before that in studying Alexis de Toqueville’s Democracy in America, I’ve been stunned by the accuracy of his predictions about where our society would founder. I’m going to throw three things out on the table and head off for the first of my writers’ groups. I’m hoping when I get back this evening to find some of your thoughts on the topic. These things are worth examining closely.

Community: Toqueville believed that community and association with people of like interests was essential to the health of a “free” country. Unfortunately, he notes, one of the results of “equal conditions for all” is that people tend to withdraw into their own worlds, where they feel special.

“Habits of the heart”: This is Toqueville’s phrase for those things that we do almost without thinking because we have learned to do them. They can be healthy or unhealthy. Healthy habits of the heart are needed, IMNHO, to do anything at all about preserving the planet and preserving the people on it. I will write more about global warming later, because I think this is a current concern where this is so very true, but it applies across the board. How healthy are your “habils of the heart”?

“The tyranny of the majority”: Toqueville saw this as a real problem with the two-party political system. There is always a winner-take-all result, and whatever majority is in power tends to arrange things to suit themsleves. Then they are ousted, the other party takes over, and everything changes again. This creates, he says, an undesireable level of instability in the law, among other things.

Now I must run. Let me know what you want to talk about.

(Updated 3/27 to fix a couple of typos. Someone linked to this and now I’m embarassed.)

The rest of the story: A few thoughts on sub-prime mortgages

March 25, 2007

One of the best things about going out and grubbing around in the dirt is that it tends to take your mind away from other, less pleasant things. But the universe is stacking pointers up on me again, so I need to abandon gardening for a moment and get some thoughts down here.

Yesterday I got a few things planted. Then it started to rain, and I came inside to find that the mail had arrived. It included the latest issue of The Economist. If you’re not familiar with this publication, I recommend it for its breadth, if nothing else. But there’s plenty more else, too. ;^}

The headline story for this issue is the current implosion in the U.S. mortgage market, complete with lots of speculation, both optimistic and pessimistic. It also contains a few exemplary stories. This whole thing depresses me almost beyond belief. It also raises a bunch of questions that I’ve been asking myself for some time now. It doesn’t, unfortunately, help me answer them.

The 19th century English novelist Anthony Trollope wrote a book titled The Way We Live Now. Several years ago, PBS made it into a wonderful miniseries, for “Masterpiece Theater,” I think. It starred David Suchet (the wonderful Hercule Poirot in another miniseries) as Melmotte, the greedy financier with a gift for pyramid schemes. He would go to any lengths to advance himself, and “to the devil” was his attitude toward anyone who got hurt in the process. He had an equally greedy and self-centered daughter on whom he doted. Sophie (I think that’s the right name, but I’m not sure) only wanted whatever she wanted and she wanted it right now. If ever there were two icons for our time, these two are it.

Winston Churchill is reported to have said that if a person is not a liberal in his twenties, he has no heart, but if he’s not a conservative by the time he is forty, he has no brain. This is a position with which I largely agree. I’m a firm believer in personal responsibility. I’m more than willing to forgive youthful foibles (even well past the age normally associated with such things), but it seems to me that part of becoming a fully functional person is to understand not only yourself but your environment. In short, we all have an obligation to know the rules and play by them. But we also have an obligation to look out for our own interests rather than expecting someone else (or many someones, aka “the government”) to do it for us.

But that’s the perspective of someone who was raised in a fairly poor household but by intelligent parents who wanted their children to a) play by the rules, and b) better themselves. If our family didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, we had extraordinary assets in our parents and the amount of parental attention we got. I’m not foolish enough to think that everyone has those assets. Nor am I foolish enough to believe that everyone is willing to “play by the rules.”

So, one of the questions this whole thing raises in my mind is this: When is government intervention appropriate? I certainly don’t think any level of government should step in and rescue people or companies who have been too foolish to manage their assets. I’m including all sorts of things here, from individuals who live beyond their means to Chrysler Corporation.

On the other hand, I think it is fairly evident in this situation that predatory lending practices were employed and that greedy mortgage brokers deliberately misled folks who were naive for the sole purpose of collecting their loan fees. Some of these stories are truly heartbreaking. But what should be done about them? It strains credulity to think that a 75-year old woman who had struggled for 30 years to make the payments on her home would really believe that someone wanted to give her $25,000 with no downside. But someone obviously persuaded her that was the case.

I’ve heard a few remark, “She should have read the loan agreement.” Well, that’s true, but I can’t help but think of all the times I signed paperwork without reading four pages of very fine print. I did it because I trusted the person I was dealing with, and I’ve never been burned. But that makes it hard for me to blame someone who acted the same way.

If you’ve read my previous rants about the chaotic nature of society today, you’ll know why I’m not surprised that a 19th-century work of literature would have so much relevance for us today. I think what we’re living through bears more resemblance to the Industrial Revolution than to any other period in human history, and I expect the results to be equally momentous in whatever form they take.

But I’m bothered by this story, as I’m bothered by other stories where significant numbers of people seem to have forgotten that we are all human, One of the main responsibilities associated with that recognition is that we must treat each other with respect. These things frighten me. It frightens me that our government would condone this type of behavior to be able to point to a “strong economy” bolstered by “high levels of home ownership.” I wonder what sort of spin they’ll find when this house of cards finishes collapsing. I can only hope that it’s not a tailspin that affects all of us.

12-hour shopping marathon leaves writer in exhausted state

March 24, 2007

Last night I was too tired to even write here. Ralph and I left home about 6:30 a.m. and returned ab out 6:30 p.m., having driven about 250 miles, stopping frequently to check out nursery plants and antique/junk shops. We both like this kind of stuff; Ben and Brenda sort of do the “ho-hum” thing when one of us suggests it.

We came home with my truck back and seats so filled that I doubt I could have put even a 4-inch pot in there somewhere. And boy did we create a lot of work for ourselves. Rough inventory of purchases: 2 Normandy firs, 1 China fir, 4 artichoke plants, some pansies and more strawberries, a star magnolia tree, a bunch of gorgeous columbines (pink, blue, and three color unown, since they haven’t bloomed yet), some dwarf holly and a gorgeous grass for Ralph and Brenda’s deck, more violets, more pansies, an “Adcock’s dwarf” (I think it’s a pine, but it grows VERY slowly to only a foot or two tall), a wonderful pine with yellow and green variegated needles (I forget the name but Merle Dean said it would grow to look like a tree in a Japanese garden and liked the shade, so I have a perfect place for it, several coast redwoods that Ralph wanted, and a little clumping plant with variegated leaves and a bright fuschia flower to go in a pot by the front door. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but that will do for now.

I also found 2 Pyrex pot lids for 50 cents each, a real steal, and a glazed lidded pot that will do nicely for sourdough starter

Ralph suggested we should do this about once a month. Just the thought of it leaves me tired. . .I hate to shop, but we actually had a great time yesterday. We topped everything off with a quick gourmet dinner–grilled Hebrew National sausages on big buns (;^}) accompanied by fresh artichokes cooked in peppercorns and balsamic vinegar–delicious!

My sunflowers and cosmos are sprouting the the pots in the kitchen, so they’ll have to be moved to the garden in a week or two. Still no sign of the tigridia and crocosmia I planted, but I’m sure they’ll be along soon. The lily-of-the-valley is sprouting and will have to be moved shortly, too.

This morning (in between breaks to drink coffee, cook breakfast, and listen to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”), I went outside to try to figure out where to plant some of this stuff.. Each time I did, it would start to rain, so I guess I’m supposed to think about it a little longer.

I can’t believe it’s Saturday already when just yesterday it was Monday. My whole week has disappeared.

A quiet day in the country

March 23, 2007

My whole body hurts tonight. It’s really all Ralph’s fault. He came down this morning and said, “I’m going to go clean out the leftover stakes and stuff in the garden so if it ever actually dries out, we can till.”

Now, it wasn’t intended that way, I know, but for me this was a guilt-inducing comment.

So I made some sandwiches for Ben and I (one for Ralph, too), tidied up a couple of things, put on my mud shoes, and went down to the garden. Ralph had finished his stuff there. So I pruned four rose bushes and moved three of them, dug out the raspberry starts that were doing their best to double the size of my little patch, dug up a mountain of groundberry roots, and collapsed.

Ben came down, and we went off in the RTV to mark the places where I wanted my trees. Then we picked up the mail, in the process running into Ralph who was weed-eating like crazy on the steepest hill. Ben told him what we’d been doing and he said, “I’ll be right down to help plant and fence.”

So this after noon we planted the spruce (and this is embarassing–I have to learn to do a better job of fact-checking. It’s a Sekkan Sugi, not a Siddon Sugi), the “Blue Ice” (another embarassment–it’s a cypress, not a cedar), the two maples Tom and Lisa brought me, and transplanted 7 noble firs. The first four were all fenced to deter the beaver. The others may get fenced later, or they may have to take their chances.

So now the only thing left to be put in the ground is the “heatherbun,” and it’s a good thing, too. Ralph and I are off to town to see the tax man tomorrow, and on our way home we’ll be stopping to see Merle Dean. So I’m sure there will be more trees.

My arms hurt, my legs hurt, my head even hurts a bit. But after we were finished planting today, I looked up and saw two swallows, the first I’ve seen this season. I was kind of flying right along with them.

We had a spring dinner tonight, baked chicken from a recipe on the Best Foods bottle that incorporated a lot of mayonnaise (surprise!) and Parmesan cheese, steamed rice, and fresh asparagus. It was yummy.

Now I’m on about my third glass of a good Shiraz, and I made the mistake of saying I wanted to leave at 6:30 if I could drag myself out of bed. I think my flashlight battery is charged, so I’ll take my weary flesh and blood and head of to king-size nirvana for the rest of the night.

Notes from the arboretum

March 22, 2007

So help me, that still sounds like a really stuffy word. But I got a nice letter today (a real letter, on paper and with a stamp) from Merle Dean Feldman, the nurserywoman I wrote about meeting in an earlier post. She is the one who started me thinking in these terms, and I have come to peace with it, so I will tell you a little more of the story.

When I stopped at Storybook Farm, it was mostly out of curiosity. When Dave, the handyman and subsequently revealed husband of Merle Dean, came out to greet me, he asked me a few questions. When Merle Dean came out, he said, “She has 100 acres of trees,” which is pretty much true. But my trees are in timber forest for the most part, except for the 8-9 acres of somewhat flatland around the house.

Ten or so years ago, a neighbor who grows seedling trees for reforestation gave me some oddball culls from his greenhouses, trees he couldn’t sell but was reluctant to just throw on the burn pile. Among them were a Korean fir and a balsam fir. We planted them and fenced them from the deer. I told Kenny thank you and mentioned that I was sort of thinking of planting as many different kinds of trees as would survive here. Ben and I will not live long enough to see most of them reach anything resembling majestic maturity, but I was rather taken by the idea that some 100 years or so from now, an anthropoligist, historian, or even archeologist would be wandering through our property and ask, “Now how do you suppose a [insert tree name here] got to this place?”

This is not a totally specious imagining. If you wander around this area, there are many places where the only evidence of the homesteaders that used to be here is in the flowers that some pioneer wife planted near the house. Narcissus (daffodils) and day lilies survive the best. They are not native here, so when you see them, you can safely assume there was a homestead nearby. That’s where my field of “wild” daffodils came from.

At any rate, when I was wandering around Storybook Farm, I tried to explain to Merle Dean my interest in trees. She asked, “How long have you had your arboretum?” I protested that it wasn’t really an arboretum, just a bunch of ground with some different trees planted on it. “How long have you had your arboretum?” she repeated. “What do you have there?” She stopped me cold. She’s right. I have an arboretum, and now I have a rather solemn (if fun) responsibility.

This has placed a burden on me, but I realize it’s a happy burden. An arboretum, according to the dictionary is:

“A place where an extensive variety of woody plants are cultivated for scientific, educational, and ornamental purposes.”


[Latin arbortum, a place grown with trees, from arbor, tree.]

That’s our place–a place grown with trees. And to date we have Douglas fir (really a variety of pine, but that’s for another post), noble fir, hemlock, alder, Ponderosa pine, one paper birch (a truly mysterious volunteer up on the hill), big leaf maple, and vine maple. Except for the nobles and the Ponderosa, these are mostly native. To these we have added coast redwoods, sequoia, cedars (an original native but lost in the big fire), Korean fir, balsam fir, Alaskan yellow cedar, Colorado blue spruce, redbud, hawthorne, and pink dogwood. Many of these I planted when they looked something like sticks. They are now recognizable trees. Thanks to my trip to Storybook, they’ll soon be joined by a Japanese spruce (Siddon Sugi), “Blue ice” (a wonderful lacy tree that I suspect is really a cedar relative), and “Heatherbun,” a funny little bushlike tree with wonderful color. Who knows what will be next?

We also have several varieties of apples, ditto cherries and plums, an apricot tree with a weird affliction, and numerous pears. I have a cherry plum that each spring takes our breaths away with its blossoms.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this, but I think a person could do much worse with his life than to grow trees. I think I’ll keep growing them. I think maybe I’ll have an arboretum. I think maybe I won’t even be apologetic about it. . .

It’s the first day of spring, and the sun came to the party

March 21, 2007

Today is the first REAL full day of spring (the equinox was at 5:07 p.m. local time yesterday), and I woke about 7 a.m. to find the sun shining. But it was colder than the dickens (that’s normal here: clear=cold, overcast=warmer; the clouds hold the warmth down closer to the ground), so I slept another hour. I am really missing alarm clocks–NOT.

When I got up, it was 34 degrees (F), so I lit the kitchen stove, Ben got up a short time later and lit the living room stove, and good thing, too. By noon it was just barely 40 degrees outside. Eventually it got up to 51 or 52, but that was midafternoon.

This is still a winter sun. It’s all glitter and brightness but has very little warmth. And it doesn’t really help that our house sits at the bottom of the north slope of a ridge. The trees have grown so tall that we get early morning sun and then nothing much for several hours (at least this time of year).

But it was still a pretty day. The Stellar’s jays are very beautiful this year. They seem much brighter blue than usual, and their little black heads much darker. They are real pests, but they’re so pretty in the sunlight that I forgive them.

I got some of the gardening done–the irises moved, potted, or planted, some pansies and violas that I totally forgot about in the ground. I discovered my Stargazer lilies are all up, and I think I’ve even got wild irises coming back (I was afraid I lost them all last year). But then I found the 16 strawberry plants that still need to go in the ground (they weren’t lost, I just forgot about them in my previous inventory), and that means digging up the groundberry roots where I want to plant them so I don’t have another total mess in a few months. And it’s just too muddy for that, even in my LL Bean mud shoes. I’d just turn the ground into concrete.

The trees didn’t get planted because the guys have been up running chainsaws all day in an area they’re turning from jungle into meadow/field. But I’m not too worried about the trees because we’ve agreed on where they’ll go and I know Ben and Ralph will plant those even when I’m gone if I lean on them. They also need to be fenced to keep our eager beaver from getting a taste for exotics.

There was a great article in the paper today about cooking fiddleheads (young fern fronds). But it referred to “ostrich” ferns, which I can’t find in any of the books I have. We have sword fern and deer fern and lady fern and maidenhair and licorice and of course the real pest, bracken fern. I have acres of sword ferns, and if the fiddle heads really taste like asparagus, I’d give them a try. This writer seemed to think you should just go buy some at the market, but that seems like cheating when I have all these ferns around here.

And there was also a wonderful piece on spring wines. I love Beaujolais, both the “nouveau” and the somewhat more civilized “villages.” And there were a couple of tips on good merlot and barberas, two other favorites.

Still no word on Tom’s treatment, but he mailed me a bunch of pictures he and Lisa took out here this weekend. They’re clogging up my mailbox, so I’d better get them downloaded and deleted while I’ve got the generator running. Somehow I suspect it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun at 42 Kbps. . .

Spring is well and truly here–uh, oh

March 21, 2007

And you can tell this in Oregon because–guess what?–it’s raining. ;^}

I just went looking for the pictures I posted on my blog back in January of the bread baked in my wood stove. I wanted share them with Whig. It took me forever to find them (this was before I started using tags or it probably would have been simpler), but finally I did. I posted them at Whig’s place (Cannablog in my blogroll), but if you missed them, they’re here.

But the thing I noticed was how much stuff I wrote in here during the month of January. You may recall the big storms and stuff, and it’s very clear that I was pretty housebound. I can see that it’s going to be harder to sit down and wax philosophical as the days keep getting longer and the weather keeps getting better (yes, Ombudsben, we actually do get good weather here at some times of the year).

Yesterday I started a bunch of flower seeds in the kitchen window, noting that if anything would get things moving for my brother’s treatment, my doing this was it. Sure enough, this morning the called him, and although there’s still no firm schedule, things are rolling along very quickly. I hope the guys can keep them damp if I have to leave for a week or two. If not, I’ll be buying nursery starts a little later.

But I have been procrastinating, and I think I’m going to have to whip myself into overdrive. There are roses to be moved, 5 trees and a lilac bush to be planted, Siberian iris to add to the spring garden, surplus Japanese iris to move, and on and on and on. Not nearly as much fun as strolling around looking at the blooming spring bulbs, but it has to happen.

Had a long day in town today and I’m sort of shot, so this will be a short entry tonight. But I did hear one more pretty funny ecumenical joke today. But I’m tired of offending folks, so I’ll probably just keep it to myself.